Wentworth - Simpson - Pratt House

Library Pl

1835

Architectural Style

Greek Revival

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Multiple Family Dwelling House, Printing Shop

Neighborhood

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This charming, 1 1/2-story Greek Revival Cottage has an L-shaped plan. Local histories indicate that during the late 19th century, this structure served as both a residence and a printer's shop. Apparently, the shop was located in the rear ell. Sheathed in wood shingles, its main block rises to a low-pitched gable roof. A one-story bay has been added to the western section of this double house, which originally had 6X2 bays. Particularly noteworthy is its handsome double entrance, which is fully enframed and accented by small, square corner blocks. Its front doors are flanked by narrow, multipane sidelights. The wedge-shaped window lintels are reminiscent of Federal lintels.

Historical Significance

Built c. 1835, this cottage has historical associations with Henry Thomas Pratt (1836-1898), publisher of The Bridgewater Independent. The house is labeled "M. Wentworth" on the Bridgewater map of 1852. The lot apparently included a U-shaped building situated on the site of the Memorial Library (1881). In 1873 the house and the U-shaped structure are labeled "Ellis and Simpson." During the mid 19th century, the narrow lane marking the northern edge of the property was called Wentworth Place. From the late 1840s to 1858, Henry Thomas Pratt, newspaper publisher and printer, lived here. Born in Hanover, Massachusetts on August 24, 1836, he was educated at Bridgewater schools and the Bridgewater State Normal School. In 1876 Mr. Pratt began to publish "Every Saturday," a local newspaper, which later became The Bridgewater Independent. Operating from a print shop in his home, Mr. Pratt's "excellent products" included broadsides, invitations, and an 1897 reprint of Mitchell's History of Bridgewater.